Home' International Nurses Day : Intenational Nurses Day Contents NAA H56
THE AGE Saturday, May 8, 2010
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for best results
Maria Loder discusses
a patient's tests.
''It has been shown that a consensus-
reached treatment plan for cancer patients,
developed by a multi-disciplinary team, will
achieve much better outcomes.''
Chronic disease is complex, often
further complicated by co-
existing ailments and illnesses. So
it makes sense to take a multi-
disciplinary approach to treatment and
The lung cancer nurse coordinator
at St Vincent's Hospital, Maria Loder,
says nurses play an integral role in the
management and care of patients
with chronic illness such as lung
cancer, working as part of a multi-
She says evidence shows that a
team approach to patient care
produces the best results in cancer.
''A multi-disciplinary team [in cancer]
usually comprises of oncologists,
surgeons, physicians, radiation
oncologists, pathologists, radiologists,
palliative care physicians, nurses and
social workers,'' she says.
''At St Vincent's, we have a multi-
disciplinary model where we meet as
a team to discuss the best treatment
plan for a particular patient. We
discuss their condition/s; argue about
the best course of action and reach
''It has been shown that
treatment plan for cancer
patients, developed by a
multi-disciplinary team, will
achieve much better
Ms Loder is the 'human
face' of the hospital
journey. She is the central
point of contact, liaising
with lung cancer patients
from the time they are
referred to the hospital.
She helps patients navigate their
way through the hospital system,
ensuring they get all the tests and
investigations required for a diagnosis.
She liaises with the various
specialists and helps prepare a brief
about the patient for the multi-
''Every little bit of information
about the patient helps,'' she says.
''For example, if a patient is living in a
caravan and has no access to transport
or family support --- those details add
a social-psychological element which
need to be considered in that person's
Ms Loder is like an advocate for the
patient, she can make things happen.
''Cancer can be a chronic condition
in itself and is often complicated by
co-morbidities such as diabetes,
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
heart disease or arthritis. A patient
often needs to see multiple specialists
and may have to go to other hospitals
for certain tests or treatment.
''It can be an intimidating journey
and I can alleviate some of the stress
and confusion. I can make it a more
comfortable journey for the patient
by fast-tracking some of the tests and
results, collaborating with the doctors,
imparting information to the patient
and translating some of the medical
Part of her job is to ensure all the
test results, doctors' letters and
discharge summary are passed on to
the next treatment team.
t r r n i w v
Footscray - Melton - Sunbury - Sunshine -- Williamstown
Western Health thanks you for your
professionalism, your hard work
and dedication, and your devotion
to our patients.
We thank you for your energy
We thank you for continuing to support
the health care needs of our patients.
Your commitment supports our Vision
of caring for our culturally diverse
Happy International Nurses Day
and International Midwives Day.
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